A PLAN to build a controversial anaerobic digestion plant at Fletcher Bank Quarry in Ramsbottom has hit the rocks after it was rejected for the third time.

First, Bury planning committee refused to grant permission for the development, then the Planning Inspectorate backed the council's decision.

Bury North David Nuttall asked the Local Government Secretary to intervene and, after a prolonged investigation, the Government has now refused permission for the application.

Opposition to the scheme is based on concerns about the impact on the greenbelt, the conservation area and the local economy as well as noise levels, smells and road safety.

For and against: Everything you need to know about plans for anaerobic digestion plant at Fletcher Bank Quarry

The applicants, Peel Environmental and Marshalls Mono Ltd, now have six weeks to ask for permission to challenge the decision in the High Court.

If they do not, the project plans will have reached a dead end.

However, they could theoretically start the planning process again by tabling new plans to Bury Council.

The decision is the culminitation of almost two years of campaigning from hundreds of people opposed to the proposal.

Ramsbottom Cllr Luise Fitzwalter said was delighted with the decision.

She added: "This is a significant and brilliant victory for Ramsbottom and the council.

"The Labour-dominated planning committee listened and rejected the application and now the Secretarty of State for Local Government has listened.

"The whole community came together and fought of this threat to our beautiful town.

"Thanks to the hundreds of people who got involved and especially to those from Ramsbottom Against Ware Site (RAWS).”

Read the full Government report at www.tinyurl.com/ramsbottomdecision